York GCSE day 2020 – As it happened

20 Aug 2020

Here’s how a very different GCSE day unfolded in York. Well done to all York’s amazing students!

The Mount: Students demonstrated inspirational qualities

5 months ago
GCSE students pick up their results at The Mount

The Mount School said girls in Year 11 continued to work diligently in online lessons and revision sessions despite the cancellation of exams. “Today they celebrate the fruits of their hard work with many girls receiving GCSE grades 7 and above (A-A* equivalent) in a large number of subjects.”

Principal of The Mount Adrienne Richmond said: “All of our girls and teaching staff worked extremely hard during lockdown to support the girls’ studies.

“Lessons were quickly adapted to maximise the benefits online learning. Despite the unusual and uncertain times of the last few months our girls remained focussed on their studies and were determined to achieve their best.

“They displayed resilience and determination, inspirational qualities that flourish in our all-girl setting.

“My congratulations to all of the girls. Witnessing them opening their results this morning, in a socially distanced manner, was quite an emotional experience. For many girls it was the first time they had returned to School since March.

“The sheer joy on their faces showed a relief that their continued commitment to their studies had been worthwhile. I am extremely proud of Year 11, not just for their GCSE results but for the progress they have achieved, both academically and personally.”

High grades were awarded today across the curriculum including STEM, creative and humanities subjects. The Mount champions all subjects equally, with girls able confidently explore subjects that interest them, free from gender stereotypes. Bespoke curricula are tailored to inspire and encourage girls’ own love of learning. Girls engage with the content and dedicated staff deploy teaching methods which best support the many unique ways that girls learn.

Millthorpe School: Lots of great pix of the students

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York MP Rachael Maskell gives her verdict on this year’s GCSEs

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This from Rachael Maskell, Labour MP for York Central:

“Congratulations to everyone receiving their GCSE results today. I am so proud of all our young people who have worked so incredibly hard in the most difficult of circumstances.

“It has been a challenging time beyond belief, full of uncertainties, and it is testament to their resilience and perseverance and that of their parents, school leaders and teachers that they can celebrate together today. I look forward to supporting all the ambitions of our young people going forward and will continue to do all I can across the city to work alongside them through the next steps of their journey.

“Unfortunately, we know that, due to the fallout from the government’s mishandling of this year’s qualifications, students taking BTEC courses will now see a delay in receiving their results. This change was announced just hours before pupils were to receive their grades and therefore, I am working to ensure that all possible support is put in place as a matter of urgency.

“Clearly the events of the past week have thrown up more questions than answers about the priorities of this government, their mishandling of the situation and the level of confidence now left in both Ofqual, the examination regulator and the Department for Education itself.

“Going forward, we need to ensure that this experience serves as a turning point for our system and that these injustices are never repeated. This ultimately means looking at how we move to more ethical decision-making as a society, where everyone has the opportunity to achieve their potential, and no one has their ambitions held back.”


Fulford School: Students deserve the rewards these results bring

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Fulford School students get their grades

Fulford School head Steve Lewis paid tribute to his GCSE students as they collected their results.

“We are delighted to share in the success of our year 11 pupils as they receive their GCSE results today,” he said.

“It was lovely to see them all back in school after such a long time. As with our A level students it has been an incredibility challenging last few months for our year 11 pupils.

“We are very proud of their achievements and the character that they have shown. They have done extremely well and deserve the rewards these results bring.

“We look forward to welcoming many of them back into our sixth form.

“We wish all our pupil well as they embark on the next chapter of their education and thank them for the invaluable contributions they have made to our school community.”

Joseph Rowntree School: Five years of hard work culminate in excellent results

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Joseph Rowntree School head Dave Hewitt

Joseph Rowntree School head Dave Hewitt praised the GCSE students in this unique year.

“It has been a fantastic morning at Joseph Rowntree School celebrating the achievements of our students in their GCSEs,” he said.

“We are incredibly proud, not only of the resilience that they have demonstrated throughout the uncertainties of the last few months, but for all the hard work and dedication that they have demonstrated over five years of study that culminate in these excellent results.

“Students have worked hard for these qualifications and they have benefitted from the support and excellent teaching of a quality staff.

“They should be delighted with all they have achieved here and we wish them all the best for the next steps in their education and careers.”

Students in the class of 2020 have received some excellent, well-earned results across a broad range of curriculum areas. Some of the notable achievements from this year’s results include:

Eleanor B (9- Literature, 9-Drama, 9-History), Eloise B (9- Literature, 9-English Language, 9-History, 9-Sociology, 99-Double Science),  Romy C (9-Computing, 9-DT, 9-English Language, 9-Literature, 9-Maths, 99- Double Science), Ellie D (9-Graphics, 9-English Language, 9-Literature, 9-French, 9-Maths, 9-Biology, 9-Chemistry, 9-Physics),  Joe F (9- Literature, 9-Geography, 9-History, 9-Biology, 9-Chemistry, 9-Physics), Ellis M (9-English Language, 9-Literature, 9-Maths, 9-Music, 9-Biology, 9-Chemistry, 9-Physics).

As well as those achieving the highest grades, many others have also overcome many challenges to achieve really strong grades and should also be immensely proud. Many students received grades demonstrating an excellent amount of progress from their initial starting points.

Vale of York Academy: We are proud of your achievements

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Vale of York students collect their results

Principal at Vale of York Academy Toby Eastaugh offered the school’s heartiest congratulations to the GCSE class of 2020.

“On behalf of Vale of York Academy, I would like to congratulate all our students on their successful GCSE examination results this year,” he said.

“We know how hard our students worked throughout their time at the Academy and, under very difficult circumstances this year, it is fair that they have received grades awarded by teachers using their professional judgement and knowledge of each child.

“I wish all our students the very best for the forthcoming academic year and remain confident that they will secure their chosen progression route.

“We are proud of your achievements, congratulations and well done!”

More Archie’s students celebrate – pictures

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Jessie Howarth and Holly Allison
Daisy and Megan
Luke, Will, Ray and Ali
Marta Garolfalo
Daisy, Grace and Aliya

Advice for students: Where to find help and support

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For anyone who didn’t get the results they were hoping for, support is available across the city for people who may be seeking an apprenticeship or other employment opportunity or for those wanting to move into full-time education.

Young people who are concerned that their personal circumstances may make accessing education, employment or training more difficult could also benefit from advice.

People can find support in York from:

  • Their school. Teaching staff will be able to support pupils with their next steps.
  • Careers Advisers employed by our schools
  • Admissions teams at York College and Askham Bryan College
  • City of York Council Learning and Work Advisers in our Young People’s Service at 30 Clarence Street; pre booked appointment slots are available and advisers can support with searching for vacancies, developing your CV, completing applications and preparing for interviews. Tel: 01904 555400
  • National Careers Service – for local employment and training opportunities; or call the national help-line 0800 100 900
  • Council-led ‘York Apprenticeship Hub’ – find us on Facebook @ York Apprenticeships; email us at [email protected]www.york.gov.uk/yorkapprenticeships for local apprenticeship vacancies. There are still around 50 opportunities in the city and many more in Leeds across a range of sectors and job roles and we can sign post you to agencies and training providers.

Advice is also available online through a handy ‘next steps’ factsheet for A Level or GCSE students, which explains many of the options available, including apprenticeships and further learning https://www.york.gov.uk/LBYSupportForParents#facts

The council is running and live Facebook Q&A on Tuesday 25 August from 5pm-6pm live at facebook/CityofYork or watch it back on www.york.gov.uk/asktheleaders to help answer questions on next step options for students aged 16-25.

The expert panel will include representatives from York College, York sixth forms, York Apprenticeship Hub, Jobcentre Plus, UniConnect and a Learning and Work Adviser.

Support is also available for anyone who is particularly worried about their results and next steps.

York mind offer services to young people at https://www.yorkmind.org.uk/ , email [email protected] or call 01904 643364

For young people who prefer online messaging there is Kooth.com.

Kooth is a free, online counselling and emotional wellbeing platform for young people aged 11 to 18 (you can use Kooth until you turn 19 yrs old).

The Kooth website allows young people to gain anonymous access to advice, support and guidance on any issue that is affecting their wellbeing. From friendship or relationship issues, family disagreements or difficult home lives, to concerns around eating, anxiety, stress, depression, self harm, suicidal thoughts etc.

Their qualified counsellors can give young people the support they need, when they need it. Kooth.com’s live chat service is available from Monday to Friday 12 noon – 10pm, Saturdays and Sundays 6pm – 10pm and is accessible through mobile, tablet and desktop. completely free of charge.

York council leaders praise students’ work and commitment

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Cllr Ian Cuthbertson

City of York Council education leaders have praised the work and commitment of students across the city who have received their GCSE results today.

This year’s results were based on teachers’ appraisal of their students work rather than formal examinations because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Cllr Ian Cuthbertson, the council’s executive member for children, young people and education, said: “I’d like to congratulate all the students receiving their key stage 4 results today.

“I know it has been an incredibly challenging time for them, with such unprecedented changes to their academic year. Their hard work and dedication, together with the support of their parents, carers and teaching staff, will help them to move forward with the next stages of their learning and life journeys.

“I wish them all the very best of luck.”

Assistant director for education Maxine Squire added: “Key stage 4 results day underlines not only the hard work of our young people, but also the commitment and professionalism of the city’s teachers.

“I’d like to thank all those involved in supporting students of all ages throughout the challenging last few months.”


Archbishop Holgate’s School: Outstanding results recognise students’ hard work and commitment

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Taylor, Nathan and Harry celebrate at Archbishop Holgate’s School

Archbishop Holgate’s School said today: “We are delighted by the achievements of our Year 11 students and extremely proud of their collective efforts in the face of the unprecedented challenges they have faced this year.

“It is great to see that their hard work, commitment and potential have been rightly recognised and rewarded with an excellent set of GCSE outcomes that build on the outstanding performance the school has achieved over the previous three years.”

Headteacher Andrew Daly said: “I remember how difficult it was when myself and my colleagues in the Year 11 team spoke to the year group for the final time before lockdown.

“We saw it dawn on the student’s faces that despite all their hard work, they might not actually get to sit their GCSE exams.

Millie and Will at Archbishop’s

“At the time we reminded them (just as we did Year 13) that the measure of their success and development is much more than examination results, that both individually and collectively they have consistently embodied the school values and that they are young people of considerable character.

“While all of this remains true, I am delighted and relieved that they will now be appropriately rewarded for their efforts and move forward with both the qualities and qualifications for the next stage of their own personal journey.”

George and Fin

Head of Year 11 Alex Arthur said: “The Year 11 students this year have been faced with an incredible amount of uncertainty over these past five months.

“Today, I am delighted to welcome back our Year 11 students into school for the first time since the school closure, and together we can begin to put the trepidations behind us and celebrate their incredible hard work and achievement.

Hannah and Livi

“The grades students have received, based on their teacher predictions, are recognition of their hard work and dedication over the past year, and they demonstrate the potential that we see in each individual within the year group.

“On behalf of the Year 11 pastoral team, it has been a privilege to have supported students throughout this incredibly turbulent year.

“They have lived our school values of Justice, Compassion, Forgiveness and Trust into being every day, and are finishing the year as well-rounded young men and women.”

Manor Academy: Excellent results reflect students’ hard work, ability and potential

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Manor students receive their results

Principal of Manor CE Academy Simon Barber described this year as exceptional: “On behalf of all the staff at Manor CE Academy, I would like to congratulate our class of 2020 on their GCSE results.

“This year has been an exceptional one and the coronavirus pandemic has prevented our Year 11s from taking their exams and postponed the traditional end of school celebrations.

“We know how hard this wonderful group of students had worked throughout their time at Manor and we are pleased that their final results reflect their ability and potential and are based on the professional estimates of their teachers.

“Their results are excellent and we wish them every success as they move on to their post-16 provision across the city. Well done Year 11, we are so proud of you!”


York High School: High flying students pictured with their top grades

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Kim Carter got grade 9 English

Lots of smiling faces at York High School today. Here’s why…


Aaliyah Hewitt got a grade 8 in English
Charlotte Davidson got a grade 7

Clair Kitchen, deputy head teacher in charge of teaching and learning, said: “The English department  are extremely proud of our Year 11 students and feel that this is representative of the resilience that they have shown not just this year but throughout their journey at York High School.”


Grace Arnold got grade 8

Nineteen students were awarded a 7+ in Maths.  Head of mathematics Jonathan Byrne said “This is a true reflection of the collective commitment and effort that these students have shown throughout their 5 years at York High School”.


Michal Kalucki: grade 9 in history
Bobbie Merrick got a grade 9 in history

Head of humanities Steve Hard said: “These are a fantastic set of results across the humanities subjects.

“Excellent progress has been made in history, geography and religious studies. An incredible amount of work over the last two years from both students and teachers, has been rewarded today.

“Pupils Michal Kalucki and Bobbie Merrick have both made exceptional levels of progress and fully deserve their grade 9s.

“A huge congratulations and thank you, to all those involved in these wonderful results.”


Eleanor Spencer received a grade 8 in biology

Ash Drury, head of science, said: “We are incredibly proud of all our Y11 scientists. These results are the payoff for two years of their hard work, aspiration and resilience.

“There are too many great grades to mention them all here, but a special mention to Beth Potter, who got a grade 9 in biology, and Josh Dalton who achieved a grade 8 in physics. Well done everyone!”

Huntington School: Hard work, lovely stories and brilliant results

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Students at Huntington School collect their GCSEs

Head teacher of Huntington School John Tomsett said: “In what has been a difficult year for our young people, made worse by the national examinations fiasco, I was delighted to see so many Huntington students collect their results today and celebrate their success.

“We have some lovely stories and some great outcomes.

“Their brilliant results are the reward for their hard work over their whole school career, ever since they began in Reception class, and they should be proud of what they have achieved. We certainly are!”

St Peter’s School: Students should be incredibly proud of all they have achieved

5 months ago
St Peter’s School students pick up their results

St Peter’s students receiving their GCSE results this week “should be incredibly proud of everything they have achieved, including their ability to respond to all the challenges of remote learning,” the school said today.

“We have been overwhelmed by their maturity, resilience and whole-hearted commitment during what has been an unusual academic year.”

The school said teachers had delivered an excellent remote learning programme and students have kept fully engaged with school life from home.

Headmaster Jeremy Walker said: “I am incredibly proud of our fifth form pupils, my talented colleagues and grateful for the outstanding support of our parents.

“Their successes today are fully deserved and we have a very strong year group progressing to sixth form, joined by talented new pupils from other schools in September.”

All Saints School: Students’ outcomes are outstanding

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An aerial view of All Saints School in York. Photograph © Google Street View

All Saints School said the GCSE class of 2020 “were an extremely motivated, hardworking and high achieving year group.

“They were predicted to achieve the school’s best ever GCSE results and although they were unable to actually sit their formal exams, their outcomes are outstanding.

“We are so proud of them all; their resilience in such challenging times and their continued support for their friends and peers has been a positive feature of their year group throughout their time at All Saints

“This group have missed out on many milestones including their prom and leavers service, although we did manage a virtual goodbye and reflection on their time at All Saints.

“Despite this, there will be many more memories to be made in the future and I am sure they will look back on the last five years very fondly.

“We look forward to welcoming many of them back to the Sixth Form and they should feel confident that they will be well supported as they embark on A level and BTEC qualifications.”

GCSE grades surge after U-turn gives pupils results based on teachers’ estimates

5 months ago
Graphic: PA

The proportion of GCSE entries in England awarded top grades has surged to record high after a u-turn meant results could be based on teachers’ estimated grades amid cancelled exams.

More than one in four (25.9%) GCSE entries in England scored one of the three top grades this year, up from just over a fifth (20.7%) last summer, figures from exams regulator Ofqual show.

The proportion receiving the top grades – at least a 7 or an A grade – is a record high based on available data following the decision to award grades based on teachers’ assessments, rather than an algorithm.

More than three in four (76%) entries were awarded at least a 4 or a C grade in England this summer, which is up 8.9 percentage points on last year when 67.1% achieved the grades, data from Ofqual shows.

It comes after GCSE and A-level students in England, Wales and Northern Ireland were told they would now be awarded the higher of either their teachers’ grade or the moderated grade following an outcry.

Traditional A*-G GCSE grades have been scrapped and replaced in England with a 9-1 system with 9 the highest result. A 4 is broadly equivalent to a C grade, and a 7 broadly equivalent to an A.

Students receiving GCSE results this summer will get numerical grades for all their subjects as all courses have now moved over to the new grading system.

Queen Margaret’s: Now we can focus on what really matters

5 months ago
Students from Queen Margaret’s

Sue Baillie, head of independent girls school Queen Margaret’s at Escrick, said the U-turn on grading meant: “Now we can focus on what really matters, which is supporting our tremendous QM girls in developing their academic confidence and personal skills to prepare them for their lives beyond QM.”

The all-girls School near York is looking to the future with optimism following the turmoil surrounding this year’s results.

Despite the cancellation of their examinations, the QM girls worked diligently throughout their GCSE courses, right up until the end of term.

The school said: “The excellent results they’ve been awarded today are reflective of their commitment to learning and will provide a springboard for their further studies.

“The school is proud it has been able to support this generation of QM girls through such a challenging experience; Mrs Baillie commended her students for the resilience and self-belief they have shown, and the way they have responded to the ever-changing situation.

“The vast majority of girls receiving their GCSE results today will remain a part of the close-knit QM community and go on to study A Levels at the School.”

She said Queen Margaret’s is well prepared for the start of the new academic year when the school reopens. It will offer a ‘blended’ timetable of both physical lessons and remote learning via a digital platform – should students find themselves having to isolate or in another lockdown scenario.

Although it will be a little different to the QM life they know and love, everyone at the School is eagerly looking ahead to the start of the new term in September when the QM Family can safely reunite.

Pictures from Archbishop Holgate’s School

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Here are some pictures from the Archbishop Holgate’s School Twitter feed this morning.

“Congratulations to George Atang! Over the moon with his GCSE results. George will be joining us in the Sixth Form in September on the road to becoming a Doctor. Well done!”

“Well done Izzy Simpson – delighted with her GCSE results and excited to be joining us in the Sixth Form in September. Izzy is working towards being a lawyer – very proud of her!”

York High School: Fantastic students have performed really well

5 months ago
York High School. Photograph: The school’s Facebook page

Rod Sims, headteacher at York High School, said: “We are delighted at York High School that the system now being used to award the GCSEs reflects accurately the hard work that the students and staff have put in, not just this year, but in previous years.

“We were extremely worried that a school such as York High School where we have made rapid and significant progress would have been penalised by a mathematical formula that did not know our students or our school.

“We have some fantastic students who have performed really well across all ability levels continuing to build on the improvements made last year. Congratulations to all.”

Some Twitter encouragement

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Bootham School: Our young people have so much to be proud of

5 months ago
Chris Jeffery. Photograph: Bootham School

As with last week’s A Levels, Chris Jeffrey at Bootham School said that GCSE results day this year is not a day for schools in general  “to be celebrating statistics (however good those may look) but to be celebrating with great gusto the young people who gained them!”

He said: “Our young people who have received their grades today have so much to be proud of.

“They have shown incredible resilience and character in managing pressures over the past six months that had threatened to derail their progress. Instead they have stuck at it and kept engaged with learning, with school and with each other despite the cancellation of their exams.

“The positive way they embarked on the A Level preparation courses we offered them over the second half of last term, for example, speaks volumes for their commitment and maturity.

“Theirs is absolutely not a year group whose achievements have somehow been devalued by the deeply unsatisfactory process that has led to the grades they have gained, as some are suggesting.

“It is a year group whose achievements are enhanced by what they have had to manage and how positively they have emerged from the challenges of it. They truly deserve their success.

“Hopefully the road ahead to even more important qualifications and experiences will be smoother for them than it has been to this point so far. They certainly deserve it to be.”

Grading U-turn on GCSEs – but no Btec results

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Hundreds of thousands of students are receiving their GCSE results today, following a U-turn on grading.

Their big day comes after the announcement that GCSE and A-level students would be able to receive grades based on assessments by schools or colleges, rather than an algorithm, after thousands of A-level results were downgraded last week.

Btec grades were not included in the original U-turn, but on Wednesday – with just hours to go until results day – Pearson said it would regrade Btecs to “address concerns about unfairness”.

The exam board told schools and colleges not to publish level 1 and 2 results in the vocational qualifications on Thursday to give them more time to recalculate the grades.

Schools minister Nick Gibb has apologised to students for the “pain and the anxiety” they felt before this week’s grading U-turn.

Welcome to our live GCSE results blog 2020

5 months ago

Welcome to the YorkMix live coverage of GCSE day.

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